As Lady Antebellum and Stevie Nicks prepared to run through Lady A’s Grammy-winning “Need You Now” again after flubbing the first take at a taping of “Crossroads,” Lady A’s Charles Kelley looked adoringly at Nicks and said, ‘You can do no wrong.” Nicks sassily shot back, “I can and I have.”
So it went with sweet and often amusing banter between Lady A’s Kelley and Hillary Scott and the Fleetwood Mac front woman throughout the 90-minute taping at Los Angeles’ Sony Studios.
When Lady Antebellum debuted with “Love Don’t Live Here” five years ago, critics often compared the trio to Fleetwood Mac for its pop-tinged sound and its dual lead singers in Scott and Kelley, so it seemed all the more appropriate to pair the two acts for “Crossroads,” CMT's 10-year old program that unites a country act with its musical hero from another genre.
It turns out Nicks has long been a Lady A fan. "Crossroads executive producer Bill Flanagan told the audience, “We’ve been trying to get Stevie Nicks for years. She said her favorite band is Lady Antebellum.”
“I’ve been listening to their songs for a solid three months,” Nicks said, between “Need You Now” takes. “My neighbors must be like, ‘What? We thought she was in Fleetwood Mac’.”
The new group— Fleetwood Antebellum? Lady Mac?—devoted the first half of the taping to Lady A hits, including “Love Don’t Live Here” and “Own the Night” album track, “Cold As Stone,” with Nicks either singing Scott’s parts or along with her and Kelley. Occasionally, Dave Heywood chimed in for gorgeous four-part harmonies. The trio debuted a lovely new song, “Golden,” which Nicks was among the first to hear. “Half a minute into it, I started to cry,” Nicks said. “This song is their ‘Landslide’.” Who knows if the love ballad will reach such legendary heights, but it’s clear having Nicks praise it so was enough for Lady A.
Later in the evening, the foursome performed “Landslide,” which Kelley introduced as “the greatest song ever.” Nicks recounted writing the song in 1973 after her boyfriend/music partner Lindsey Buckingham had gone to tour with the Everly Brothers. “I knew it was going to be special,” she said.
Lady A and Nicks also wrapped their vocals around a stunning, haunting “Gold Dust Woman” and “The Edge of 17,” marking the first time that Nicks said she had ever performed the latter tune, written about Tom Petty, with anyone else. For trivia buffs, the title comes from Nicks’ misunderstanding Petty’s first wife, who told Nicks she met Petty at “the age of 17.” Her southern accent was so strong, Nicks thought she said “the edge of 17.”
Speaking of Petty, next came the Nicks/Petty duet “Stop Draggin' My Heart Around,” with Kelley ably filling in for Petty as he towered over the diminutive Nicks.
Nicks then bantered with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, who was seated in the audience. Tyler previously taped a “Crossroads” with Carrie Underwood. As Kelley watched the exchange, he said, “Am I dreaming?”
Yep, heady stuff for the members of the trio, none of whom were born when Fleetwood Mac’s classic album, “Rumours” came out in 1977 or Nicks’ first solo album, “Bella Donna” in 1981.
CMT has yet to announce an air date for the Lady A/Stevie Nicks’ edition of “Crossroads.”